PSYC215 Chapter 11 Notes
Proximity: Geographical nearness. Proximity (more precisely, “functional distance”) powerfully predicts
Mere-exposure Effect: The tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more or rated more positively after the
rater has been repeatedly exposed to them.
Matching Phenomenon: The tendency for men and women to choose as partners those who are a
“good match” in attractiveness and other traits.
Physical-attractiveness Stereotypes: The presumption that physically attractive people possess other
socially desirable traits as well: What is beautiful is good.
Complementarity: The popularly supposed tendency, in a relationship between two people, for each to
complete what is missing in the other.
Ingratiation: The use of strategies, such as flattery, by which people seek to gain another’s favour.
Reward Theory of Attraction: The theory that we like those whose behaviour is rewarding to us or
whom we associate with rewarding events.
Passionate Love: A state of intense longing for union with another. Passionate lovers are absorbed in
one another, feel ecstatic at attaining their partner’s love, and are disconsolate on losing it.
Two-factor Theory of Emotion: arousal x its label = emotion
Companion Love: The affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply intertwined.
Secure Attachment: Attachments rooted in trust and marked by intimacy.
Preoccupied Attachment: Attachments marked by a sense of one’s own unworthiness and anxiety,
ambivalence, and possessiveness.
Dismissive Attachment: An avoidant relationship style marked by distrust of others.
Fearful Attachment: An avoidant relationship style marked by a fear of rejection.
Equity: A condition in which the outcomes people receive from a relationship are proportional to what
they contribute to it. Note: Equitable outcomes needn’t always be equal outcomes.
Self-disclosure: Revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others.
Disclosure Reciprocity: The tendency for one person’s intimacy of self-disclosure to match that of a
One of the most powerful predictors of whether any two people are friends is sheer proximity.
Proximity can also breed hostility.
Interaction is based on “functional distance”, how often people’s paths cross.
Interaction allows people to explore their similarities, to sense one another’s liking, and to
perceive themselves as a social unit.
Romantic love is often rather like ducklings’ imprinting, in which ducklings bond to whoever is
near. With repeated exposure to someone, our infatuation may fix on almost anyone who has
roughly similar characteristics and who reciprocates our affection.
One factor of why proximity breeds liking is availability.
Merely anticipating interaction boosts liking; likewise with expecting to date someone.
Anticipatory liking-expecting that someone will be pleasant and compatible-increases the
chance of a rewarding relationship. More than 200 experiments reveal that, contrary to an old proverb, familiarity does not breed
contempt. Rather, it fosters fondness. This is mere-exposure effect.
Even exposure without awareness leads to liking. In fact, mere exposure has an even stronger
effect when people perceive stimuli without awareness.
Zajonc argues that emotions are often more instantaneous, more primitive, than thinking.
The mere-exposure effect has “enormous adaptive significance”. It is a “hard-wired”
phenomenon that predisposes our attractions and attachments, and that helped our ancestors
categorize things and people as either familiar and safe, or unfamiliar and possibly dangerous.
The mere exposure effect has a negative side: it is our wariness of the unfamiliar-which may
explain the automatic, unconscious prejudice people often feel when confronting those who are
different. Fearful or prejudicial feelings are not always expressions of stereotyped beliefs;
sometimes the beliefs arise later as justifications for intuitive feelings.
Basically, physical attraction is apparent in both men and women. The end of the story is that
we are able to judge the amount of dates and people we want to see again by their partners’
Several studies have found a strong correspondence between the attractiveness of husbands
and wives, of dating partners, and even of those within particular frats. People tend to select as
friends and especially to marry those who are a “good match” not only to their level of
intelligence but also to their level of attractiveness.
When choosing whom to approach, people usually approach someone who attractiveness
roughly matches (or not too greatly exceeds) their own.
Added together, the findings define a physical-attractiveness stereotype: What is beautiful is
Attractiveness probably most affects first impressions and are becoming more so as societies
become increasingly mobile and urbanized and as contacts with people become more fleeting.
The speed with which first impressions form and their influence on thinking helps explain why
pretty prospers. Even a brief exposure (too brief to discern a face) is enough to enable people to
guess a face’s attractiveness. Moreover, when categorizing subsequent words as either good or
bad, an attractive face predisposes people to categorize good words faster. Pretty is perceived
promptly and primes positive processing.
Physically attractive individuals tend also to be more popular, more outgoing, and more ender-
typed-more traditionally masculine if male, more feminine if female.
Attractive people are valued and favoured, and so may develop more social self-confidence. By
that analysis, what’s crucial to your social skill Is not how you look, but how people treat you
and how you feel about yourself-whether you accept yourself, like yourself, feel comfortable
For cultures with scarce resources and for poor or hungry people, plumpness seems attractive;
for cultures and individuals with abundant resources, beauty more often equals slimness.
To be really attractive is, ironically, to be perfectly average.
People find composite faces more beautiful than real faces. Potentially, computer averaged
faces tend to be perfectly symmetrical, another characteristic of attractive people.
Psychologists working form the evolutionary perspective explain the human preference for
attractive partners in terms of reproductive strategy. They assume that beauty signals
biologically important information: health, youth, and fertility.
Men everywhere have felt most attracted to women whose waists are 30 percent narrower
than their hips-a shape associated with peak sexual fertility. Laboratory confirms this “contrast effect.” To men who have recently been gazing at
centrefolds, average women or even their own wives seem less attractive. Viewing pornographic
material simulating passionate sex similarly decreases satisfaction with one’s own partner.
Sometimes an average-looking adolescent becomes a quite attractive middle-aged adult.
Second, not only do we perceive attractive people as likeable, we also perceive likeable people
Love sees loveliness: the more in love a person is to their partner, the more physically attractive
they find the other. And the more in love people are, the less attractive they find all others.
The greater the similarity between husband and wife, the happier they are and the less likely
they are to divorce.
Based on experiments, the more similar someone’s attitudes are to your own, the more likeable
you will find the person. Likeness produces liking not only for university and college students but
also for children and the elderly, for people of various cultures and occupations. When others
think as we do, we not only appreciate their attitudes but also make positive inferences about
We have a bias, the false consensus bias, toward assuming that others share our attitudes.
When we discover that someone does not, we may dislike the person. If those dissimilar
attitudes pertain to our strong moral convictions, we dislike and distance ourselves from them
all the more.
In general, dissimilar attitudes depress liking more than similar attitudes enhance it. Within their
own groups, where they expect similarity, people find it especially hard to like someone with
“Attitude alignment” helps promote and sustain close relationships, a phenomenon that can
lead partners to overestimate their attitude similarities.
In fact, except for intimate relationships such as dating, the perception of like minds seems
more important for attraction than like skins.
“Cultural racism” persists because cultural differences are a fact of life. Black culture tends to be
present-oriented, spontaneously expressive, spiritual, and emotionally driven. White culture
tends to be more future-oriented, materialistic, and achievement-driven.
The answer to “do opposites attract” is that similarity still prevails. Smart birds flock together.
To the contrary of opposites attract, it is actually non-depressed people who most prefer the
company of happy people. The contrast effect makes people devalue the opposite trait when
they are in a mood.
Some complementarity may evolve as a relationship progresses, yet people seem slightly more
prone to like and to marry those who’s needs and personalities are similar.
One person’s liking does predict the other’s liking in return. Liking is usually mutual. Discovering
that an appealing someone really likes you seems to awaken romantic feelings.
People like compliments and are sensitive event to the slightest hint of criticism.
Whether we are judging ourselves or others, negative information carries more weight because,
being less usual, it grabs more attention.
If praise clearly violates what we know is true, we may lose respect for the flatterer and wonder
whether the compliment springs from ulterior motives. Thus we often perceive criticism to be
more sincere than praise.
Our reaction to flattery depends on our attributions. If there is an ulterior motive, then the
praise loses appeal. But if there is not apparent ulterior motive, then we warmly receive both
flattery and flatterer.
People with low self-esteem focus narrowly on the literal meaning of compliments. People with
high self-esteem attribute more abstract significance to compliments. People with low self- esteem needs more encouragement to feel the same in terms of a compliment than those with
How we explain our own actions